Balance in composition: the types and principles

the Term “composition” implies the Union of some elements into a single harmonious whole. This concept is equally well applicable as in the exact Sciences and in art theory in General. The balance in the composition – one of the two indispensable conditions for its presence. The second is the combination of all the constituent elements of the object in single form. As art and architecture or engineering strive for harmony, seeing it as its primary and indispensable goal, the fulfillment of these two conditions is the only valid composition.

General theoretical concepts

the Science of the composition and separates out the three types, which in practice often closely interlinked and complement each other, giving sometimes the most unexpected and multifaceted combination. The result is masterpieces of culture. These include: front, surround, and deep-space composition.

With all the complexity that demonstrates any pattern, structure or other creature that appeared as a result of the act of art must be balanced, which is primarily expressed in the visual stabilization of the complex constituent elements. It does not always mean a strict symmetry. Balance in composition is a balance of all parts (and also composed of these fragments) relative to the center. The need to achieve such stability, obviously, is dictated by nature. Proof of this can serve the fact that animal and vegetable and even inanimate world of inherent balance in the composition. Examples of it are everywhere: maple leaf, snow crystal, conch shell, etc.
Search for harmony in the arrangement of elements of a person with artistic thinking, provides intuitive. This desire can be traced in the history of world culture for millennia. In particular, it is expressed in the thirst for symmetry that proves, for example, the visual equilibrium of the masses in the composition of the ancient Catholic cathedrals, the cross-domed churches of Ancient Russia and, of course, in the ensemble of the Egyptian pyramids.

Symmetry and asymmetry

As is known, the absolute proportionality does not exist in nature. Also not found in it the full asymmetry. However, the fact that the mirror principle of the structure of the absolute majority of living beings (as well as many elements of inanimate nature) suggests that everything in the world is committed to proportionality. Tend to it and the human creations.
mass Balance in composition is achieved through the correct positioning of its elements on a plane or with respect to the Central point. Symmetry is the same – this is the most contrastingly marked its quality. Mentioned above its mirror-like type is the most common miraculous in nature and in art. The essence of it is close to equal ratio of parts of the object relative to the vertical or horizontal axis.
These types of equilibrium compositions, both axial and helical symmetry, are formed by rotations around the axis. In the first case, when you turn the various elements can be combined repeatedly. In the second through different kinds of artistic techniques creates dynamics – spiral motion around a static axis.

But do not believe that the harmony of his creation, the artist can only be achieved by strictly following the norms of proportionality. One of the ways of its achievement in the visual arts, architecture, prose and poetry is asymmetry, which is also included in composition basics. Balance in the absence of a formal equality of elements allows to achieve the proper placement and combination of all parts of the object according to their color, tones and weight. Such techniques are, for example, we can observe in the paintings of “Landscape with Polifemo" Poussin and “Madonna of the rocks” Leonardo da Vinci.

scale Value

the Visual equilibrium of the masses in the composition in the absence of symmetry is also applicable in architecture. A sample of his can serve St. Andrew's Cathedral, having a disproportionate tower (one of the characteristics Victorian style). asymmetry is a more complex technique in art and in contrast to the SLR method is read gradually. As a way of communicating the intent of the artist and the desire to its most striking expression, the disparity reveals a dynamic equilibrium in the composition. Showing a balance of different elements with different degrees of massiveness, it creates the illusion of movement in their common borders.
Actual solidity of objects is read solely by their comparison and in the evaluation process use the term “scale”. To create a composite right asymmetry, a large value is deleted to the smallest details as an effective means of artistic expression. At the same time, using the scale, it is impossible to leave the proportions as they are closely linked. Because this is the most difficult act of balance in composition.
Principle of proportion is in compliance with the constancy of the relationship between two or more variables. Increasing one to a certain extent, as many times should be increased and another.

Geometry in art

Compliance with these rules allows to achieve proportionality and full harmony of elements for the parts and the core of the subject. The principle of proportion – is a classic in a number of versatile tools the composition. On the topic of “the Balance in the graphic arts and architecture" there is a lot of scientific papers.
So, for an absolute proportion, many centuries ago was revealed to the so-called Golden section. This term entered into use the great genius Leonardo da Vinci. This proportion implies a balance in the composition, is mathematically expressed by the number of 1.62. Graphically it is transmitted by constructing a geometrically perfect five-pointed star, each side of which can be conditionally divided into two parts. Thus the resulting parts correspond with each other in the proportion of "Golden section".
Secret of this proportion, according to scientists, was known many years ago. The result of the application of this formula is balance in the composition, examples of which our age has inherited from such Grand structures like the Parthenon and Egyptian pyramids. Buildings, made by the same proportions, are also in India and China, in Italy and in Greece.

Figure painting

In search of the most expressive schemes for artists of all ages anxiously addressed with every significant detail in the story, through the creation of the composition. The balance of geometric shapes based on the art of most artists as Renaissance and early classicism. For example, in the picture N. Poussin “Landscape with Polifemo” two composite parts represent a great small triangles inscribed one in the other. While the characters in the paintings of Leonardo da Vinci “Madonna of the rocks” easily arranged in a pyramid, the apex of which is the very mother of God.

to Transmit a still image of the artist helps this technique as a static the composition and balance of geometric shapes which is achieved by pulling all the lines to the kernel image. An example of this solution can serve as an icon painting, where the most common arrangement of plot elements in the form of a circle, square or rectangle, and often austere symmetry.
Static is needed to transfer the rest, closed spaces. Such a composition is required in the subjects not involving dynamics. So, the painting "Portrait of Ksenia Tishinino” I. Vishnyakova even the figure of the heroine forms a distinct right triangle and is the only element that is spelled out in bright colours.

the Schematic open composition

With the onset of the Renaissance radically changed the concept of attitude. The limits of human consciousness increased greatly, which naturally affected the art, music, literature and architecture. Extremely limited world has expanded to infinite limits, and closed composition changed open.
Moving toward the attainment of harmony in each painting, the artist naturally focuses on purely personal feelings and appeals to their creative thinking. Although, the act of creation defies analysis, most of the used methods can be read and considered in details. In particular, this applies to artistic schemes, through which equilibrium is reached in the composition. Examples of the drawings, the plot of which includes an extensive landscape with a large list of diverse parts, allow us to clearly observe the proper ratio of the various parts into a single structure.

the value of the parts when the balance

One of the most indicative in this sense are the paintings of Velasquez. So, in his wonderful creation “the Surrender of Breda" surprisingly, there is a clear balance of cloudy and bright spots, bright and neutral shades, a combination of massive parts and proper prescription plan.
Main plot element is located exactly in the middle of the canvas. The characters deployed to each other. The head of the winner is slightly above the heads of enemy and looks a bright spot on a dull background of bored soldiers and greenish given. The figure of the Governor, handing a symbolic key from the fallen city, spelled out on a light background. He was somewhat swarthy, and his face is framed by crisp white collar. Such contrasts are traced canvas.
One diagonal line forms a scarf, which is tied with the winner from shoulder to hip, and another-the flag of the defeated enemy and the line of the hands of the main characters. Visual sense of depth in pictures is achieved thanks to a few light strokes – the horse's head to the left of the Governor and the white shirt of the warrior beside her.
“the Surrender of Breda" is a web demonstrating the main rules of composition. The balance it achieved through the elaboration of several plans, crowned with the given term.

the Principle of chronotope

the Balance of the composition can be achieved by image the painting continuing events. This technique with great success used the Russian Orthodox Church. So, Novgorod painters of the late middle ages was created and carved the picture in paint, the plot of which was based on the famous battle of the Novgorod troops from Suzdal. In this work it was applied a three-tiered arrangement: in a row (top to bottom) was performed on three independent pictures, each of which showed a single episode. In this case, being strictly one above the other, they represent a single picture.

a Similar and no less common technique solutions of complex issues is the creation of images, which are based on events that occurred in different places and at different times, but related storyline. Often this picture is a large canvas with a Central episode in the middle and many small fragments that are around. As a rule, such works belong to the genre of iconography or simply to works on religious subjects, a notable example of which can serve as a canvas by Hieronymus Bosch.

Composition in the decorative arts

the methods and techniques used for the transmission of artistic conception, will vary depending on the type of art in which an artist works. This, of course, there may be similar or even General laws. However, each craft is special and specific, and therefore each of the means of composition may be applied in different ways.
a painting needs to be organic and with maximum naturalness to combine all the elements, without imposing ideas. And if the standard pattern has as one of its goals the transfer of the illusion of space in its volume and depth, in the people's fine arts master seeks to emphasize the relief and detail, using their special techniques. Techniques of decorative art differ fundamentally from the methods of composition used by classical artist. For example, since the landscape depicted cannot be shown in its depth, the master plan locates the far right over the middle. These methods were applied including the ancient Russian icon painters.
Precisely because of their greater visibility and clarity, the techniques of these great masters of decorative art and iconography become the object of study in the arts lessons in the elementary grades. The basis of a lesson plan usually includes the definition of “rhythm” and “form” – items, providing balance in composition (class 2).


the Challenges of a painter, each of his works, require correct solutions. In particular this applies to the techniques that are used in the composition. The methods used by each individual artist should be originality and innovation.

to the rules of composition were followed, should take into account many things:
  • a lot of the described items;
  • dimensions of each and (based on this) their location on the sheet;
  • rhythm of lines and color strokes;
  • a way to transfer the author's perspective;
  • the methods by which the described space.
great value also comes from how clearly spells out the silhouettes of the characters with a set of paints the whole picture. Composition – a kind of special professional tool of the artist, with which he manages to convey his vision of it, the world, their sense of ideas, associations, impressions, etc. these Skills are honed every master from year to year.

Work song

Every artistic image is studied by the author in advance and for quite a long time. Really the correct composition requires the artist to possess such skills to perfection. Because the ability to apply the necessary techniques need to constantly hone.
to observe the balance of the main elements of the composition on the sheet, you must have a real professionalism. Even a simple point set on the white surface of the paper, is the artist a lot of questions, because the impression of it will change depending on exactly where she will be. The same applies to any other object placed on the canvas.
Basic rules and techniques of composition are the result of a huge history of fine art. However, from century to century, they are replenished with rich experience of new generations of artists. The technique of composition is changing, evolving and always corresponds to the creative position of the masters of each specific generation.

Transfer a balance

by the pronounced symmetry of details of the picture or other art object composite balanced. As for the asymmetrical image, its elements can be positioned relative to each other as in the balance sheet and outside it. There is a list of techniques: the broad smear of light shades can be balanced a small dark spot; a counterweight row of small spots, the acts were great and So different parts of the canvas and teetering depending on their size, weight, colours and other characteristics.
in addition, the balanced should be not only the fragments (characters, details of the surrounding space, etc.), but the space between them. In this compositional balance is not even worth to compare with the mathematical equality of values. The ability to intuitively feel it is either given by nature or can be developed over time in the process of tireless work. As for the asymmetrical pattern, the center of meaning is either the edge image or non-existent.
Balance of the composition in any case depends on:
  • the right location of the massive parts of the image;
  • plastics and rhythmic artistic writing;
  • proportions define each piece of cloth;
  • a well-chosen tones and color pattern.


the Balance of the main elements of the composition on the sheet is achieved by strict adherence to the basic principles of their connection. The first of which (and most obvious) is the feasibility. The fact that art, as a space in which everything is subordinated to strict logic, discipline, and careful economy of expressive means, requires a precise matching of the degree of effort specific to the task. Any work should be constructed simply and as productively as possible in transferring the idea and concept of the artist.
Composition is, in essence, is the connection of disparate things, through skillful combination their start working as productively as possible in their mutual dependence represent something new and common. This suggests the principle of unity and integrity, which should be followed by every painter. In order to understand whether this law is on the canvas, you should mentally withdraw any part of the composition from the picture. In that case, if the result of this plot will not suffer any damage, it is safe to conclude that the principle of integrity, obviously broken. The same can be said about the change of places of the parts of the composition and introducing into the picture some new elements.

Achievement of the unity and integrity

to all the principles of the composition was observed, it is necessary to use the following techniques:
  • Appropriate overlay objects allows to highlight the plans. In addition, this technique gives a sense of spatial depth and gives the image volume.
  • Respect the unity of form and nature implies work in the same manner and style. Line and plastic elements should be combined with each other. The colors should be chosen in the same key and repeat them as needed. The same applies to textures.
  • In the composition should be of the generalized form, with descriptive and expressive pictures should also be monotonous.
in addition, to achieve the integrity and balance of composition, it is necessary to observe the strict sequence of actions at all stages of the work. For a start, you should carefully consider the plan works. Designing all the structural elements of the composition, it is necessary to determine the extent of the ratio of its major parts. It became possible to combine plastics of the image, in silhouettes which can then enter the details.